The opening of Gasum’s biogas plant in Lohja took place virtually today, June 2, 2021. The new plant was opened by Jari Leppä, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. The plant uses biodegradable waste from the Helsinki region to produce renewable biogas and organic recycled fertiliser suitable for organic farming. Demand for renewable biogas is constantly growing and with it the need for organic waste suitable for use as a biogas feedstock.

The energy company Gasum’s newest biogas plant is in Munkkaa, Lohja and was officially opened virtually on June 2, 2021, by Jari Leppä, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. The Lohja biogas plant will process around 60,000 tonnes of biomass each year and produce 40 GWh of biogas, a renewable transport fuel. The amount is equivalent to the annual consumption of 4,000 cars.

“There is a constantly growing demand for biogas, which is, for example, currently by far the best way for heavy-duty transport to reduce emissions. Growing demand for biogas also means a need for continuously more biogas feedstock or organic waste. The Lohja biogas plant offers companies in the Helsinki region a chance to become part of the circular economy and a cleaner future by recycling their biowaste into fully renewable biogas,” says Johan Grön, Vice President, Biogas, Gasum.

The use of biogas as a fuel can help to reduce lifecycle emissions by up to 90%. In addition, vehicles running on biogas produce no nitrogen and sulfur oxide emissions typical of transport.

Biogas production capacity taken into account in the Government Programme

The importance of biogas in reducing transport emissions is well recognized in Finland. The National Roadmap for fossil-free transport lists a number of measures that can be used to support gas transport in the coming years. In addition, a national biogas programme for Finland has been included in the Government Programme. Implementation of the national biogas programme seeks to make more efficient use of biogas production potential going forward.

”It’s a pleasure to open the Lohja biogas plant. The promotion of biogas, in particular, supports the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. Promoting the circular economy and sustainability are at the core of the Government Programme. The increase in biogas production will mean the increased availability of recycled nutrient-based fertiliser products. The most important role of agriculture is to produce good, nutritious food,” said Jari Leppä, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

As a by-product of biogas, the plant produces organic recycled fertilisers, which are particularly suitable for organic farming. There is a need for recycled fertilisers in farming in the Helsinki region, where there is a lot of organically farmed arable land. The advantage of recycled fertilisers over fossil fertilizers is the organic matter they contain, which has a positive effect on soil health and weather resistance in the fields.

Gasum now has a total of 17 biogas plants in Finland and Sweden and is one of the largest biogas producers in the Nordic countries. Earlier this spring, Gasum opened the Nymölla plant in Sweden. Located next to Stora Enso’s pulp mill, the Nymölla plant uses process water from the mill as a feedstock and can produce 80 GWh of liquefied biogas.

Gasum is accelerating the availability of biogas by building new plants and by increasing the procurement of biogas from the production plants of other operators. Gasum is currently building an industrial-scale (120 GWh/year) manure-based biogas plant in Götene, Sweden. The plant is scheduled for completion in early 2023.

Image source: Courtesy of Gasum

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